we have recently (foolishly) installed the updates on some of our servers, which have a bit of hardware attached via USB that presents itself as a serial (COM) port.

The strange behaviour is that if I start a cmd shell on the server via VNC, I can open the serial port. If I run a service and start it from there (telnet, jenkins) then I receive a "not found" error for it.


C:\Documents and Settings\some_user>echo 1 >COM4:
C:\Documents and Settings\some_user>

on the local cmd will work, and on the remote telnet will give:

C:\Documents and Settings\some_user>echo 1 >COM4:
The system cannot find the file specified.
C:\Documents and Settings\some_user>

I cannot see any security settings on the Device manager settings panel for this device.

  • I am currently reviewing the updates installed to see if any specify changes to serial or device policies. Oct 26 '12 at 10:50
  • And none of them seem related or have any known issues relating to it. Oct 26 '12 at 10:57
  • I've tried setting "GPE\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Client/Server data redirection\Do not allow COM port redirection" to disable (from not set) - actually - maybe I need to enable this - I don't want redirection. I think I am going to try removing all the recent updates and reboot one of the affected servers. Oct 26 '12 at 11:08

Backing out the update KB2724197 will fix this. I need to investigate why - this one makes the serial port accessible remotely again.

  • I now need to find out how to prevent this being installed again - however, later and different updates may rebreak what ever thing was broken with this. Oct 26 '12 at 12:54
  • Found here - superuser.com/questions/171794/… - in 2003, go to windows update, click custom (when ready), untick the update, and tick "don't show this update again". Click review and install to apply the change. Oct 26 '12 at 12:57
  • Okay - plan to investigate what changed (hatched by a cunning colleague) - verify it works, dump the registry, install the update & restart, verify it's broke, dump the reg again, diff the two and look for likely suspect configuration changes. Oct 26 '12 at 13:14
  • Add - upon installing it, the verifying it is broke step failed - the update having been backed out, and reinstalled is not reproducing the problem. Oct 26 '12 at 13:38

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